After a trainin camp full of good work and good results, Ajax had an offday against amateur side Spakenburg. After a 2-0 deficit at halftime, the professionals lost 3-2 on Tuesday.
Ajax coach Henk ten Cate was obviously disappointed, but realised that incidents like this can happen. Ajax had a tough training camp, leaders Jaap Stam and Gabri did not play and the weather was incredibly hot.
,,It all seemed very tired, but that should not be an excuse’’, said the coach. ,,We should have played more simple, we were running with the ball too much and the passing was careless. All this should not happen, but it did.''
The 'fatal' third goal of the home side was a beauty. Mustafa Aksit curved the ball from outside of the box over goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer. Fifteen minutes before halftime the 6.000 fans had reason to cheer for the first time. Arthur van Metelen chipped the ball in the Ajax goal. Six minutes later, Roderick de Harder fired it in.
,,I like dnothing about today, except Jan's performance'', said Ten Cate about his defender Jan Vertonghen. ,,The team seemed tired. I know how hard we worked the past two weeks. But we will have to present ourselves well on the Amsterdam Tournament.’’
After an hour substitute Tom de Mul made it 2-1. Ajax also lacked some luck. Rydell Poepon saw the ball bounce back from hitting the crossbar and the post and Vertonghen also hit the post. Klaas Jan Huntelaar had also just missed from up close. In added time, substitute Robbert Schilder made it 3-2.
,,Nobody took responsibility’’, said Ten Cate. ,,We really need a guy like Stam.''